Mauermann earns spot with Janesville Jets
Janesville Jets roster
Goaltenders: James Adamo, Colin Fischer, Matt Wichorek
Defensemen: Hunter Brown, Andrew Pierson, Gene Constantine, Tyler Sorenson, Alex Amundson, Dylan Niehoff, Jose Delgadillo, Mike Thompson, Ryan Ladoucer, Beau Burgau.
Forwards: Jared Bertsch, Billy Mulligan, Larkin Jacobson, Ethan Nauman, Tommy Paine, Mason Walters, Rui Encarnarcao, Derek Jacobson, Casey Kirley, Pat Dalbec, Jordan Bancroft, Ross Mauermann, Cam Severson, Wes Hawkins.
JANESVILLE For the moment, Janesville's Ross Mauermann stands as the face of the Janesville Jets.
Mauermann and 26 other players survived the Jets' final tryout camp at the Janesville Ice Skating Center as the NAHL's newest franchise surges ever closer to its Sept. 12 regular-season debut.
Mauermann, a two-time all-state player for the Janesville Bluebirds and a finalist for Mr. Hockey honors in Wisconsin last season, will reconvene with the rest of the prospective Jets on Aug. 30 as the team begins its first official training camp.
"I knew if I played well, I'd make the team," Mauermann said shortly after receiving the news Sunday.
The weekend tryout included 100 players divided into six teams. Those players skated against each other in 12 games Friday and Saturday. Those 100 were cut down to two 20-man all-star teams for Sunday's grand finale, which attracted about 200 fans.
"I'll get to live at home and skate on my home rink," Mauermann said. "A lot of people will be watching and cheering for me. It's going to be like high school, a little bit. I just want to get out there and have some fun. The community support has been tremendous."
The Jets will need to trim two more players before the start of the regular season. Those cuts will be made after home-and-away exhibition games against the Dubuque Thunderbirds on Sept. 5 and 8.
Mauermann, who participated in last month's tryout camp in Janesville, had already been tendered an offer from the Jets earlier this year and would have had to fall on his face not to make the team.
"I think the talent level on this team is good," Mauermann said. "I think we'll have a chance to compete at a high level."
So does Bill McCoshen, the Jets' managing general partner.
"We're not going to look like an expansion team," McCoshen said. "We had to send 15 good players home. It's the tough and exciting part of this process all at the same time.
"We had some real tough choices. I have no doubt the 15 we let go today could play somewhere in the league with the right opportunity."
The team's roster already has a decidedly different look than the first list of 30 draftees and tendered players. Eleven of those 30 did not make the final roster.
"There were no easy choices," Jets head coach Dane Litke said. "We left some tendered and drafted players go."
Goaltender Matt Wichorek, the team's top draft pick, made the team, but didn't play in the all-star game after suffering a slight ankle injury.
Defensemen Ryan Ladoucer and Beau Burgau will both get a shot to tie up roster spots later this month. Ladoucer was drafted by the Jets but took a shot at trying to make the roster for the Fargo Force of the USHL. He was recently cut and unable to make it to Janesville on time.
Burgau, meanwhile, was nursing an injury. He played for the NAHL's Wenatchee Bears last year.
Nobody's spot on the roster is 100 percent safe just yet.
Litke said the Jets and other NAHL teams would wait to see what happens when squads in the Tier I USHL—the top junior league in the country—make their final cuts.
Among the players surviving the cut are three of Mauermann's teammates from the elite Team Wisconsin—forward Ethan Nauman, defenseman Alex Amundson and forward Pat Dalebec. Tyler Sorenson, a defenseman from Brookfield who played for the NAHL's Springfield Junior Blues last season, also made the final cut.
Russian NHL veteran puts two stepsons on Jets' roster
Plenty of parents and relatives showed up to support their sons during the Janesville Jets' final tryout camp this weekend.
Few were as prominent as Ruslan Fedotenko, a left-winger for the reigning Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.
Fedotenko had a vested interest in the tryouts as his two stepsons, Derek Jacobson and Larkin Jacobson, tried to make the team. Both survived the cut, much to Fedotenko's delight.
"It's really exciting," Fedotenko said. "It's fun for them. It's time for me to support them."
Fedotenko, 30, left Russia at age 16 to pursue his hockey dreams in North America. He made his NHL debut with the Philadelphia Flyers in 1999 and has played for the Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Islanders and Penguins.
Fedotenko has scored 139 goals and 139 assists in his 597-game career. The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder from Kiev, had seven goals and seven assists for the Penguins during the playoffs.
He hoisted the Cup in June for the second time. Fedotenko scored two goals for the Lightning in its Cup-clinching victory over Calgary in 2004.
Fedotenko keeps a summer home in Door County. Following tradition, Fedotenko will get to have the Stanley Cup for a day. His day is scheduled for Aug. 18. He plans to show the trophy off around Door County.
"Every hockey player dreams of winning the Stanley Cup. To win it twice is unbelievable," Fedotenko said.